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Thread: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

  1. #51

    Re: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    Just nit-picking here, but the f/4.5 is a plain old Ektar. The f/6.3 is the Commercial Ektar. Personally, I'd rather have the f/4.5...
    I love my f4.5 Ektar. Its beautiful even wide open.

  2. #52

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    Re: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

    Have used the 12" f4.5 & 300mm f4.5 Xenar (dealer freee-be as these barrel lenses back then had near zero market value) since the 90's.

    The f4.5 Ektar has softer-rounder out of focus rendition at f4.5 to f8 than the Xenar, it also has more neutral color rendition compared to the Xenar. Contrast is about similar.. Given a forced choice, the f4.5 Ektar would be the keeper over the f6.3 Commercial Ektar.

    Keep in mind, this is splitting small differences.

    Back in the 8x10 days, the far preferred H&S focal length would be about 480mm to 19" like this 480mm f4.5 Xenar. These produce a look on 8x10 that is kinda special. partly due to the f4.5 effect with 8x10 and the personality of a good Tessar design lens. No longer do 8x10 these days, but still fond of this 480mm f4.5 Xenar.. likely due to fond memories of the 8x10 images it made.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    That said, still of the opinion lighting, pose, composition far exceed the fine differences between these lenses with portrait sitter's expressive image being the most important factor that makes an effective portrait. IMO, it is MUCH about the portrait sitter, far lesser about the foto hardware.


    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    Bernice, do you find any discernable difference between the f/4.5 Ektar and the f/4.5 Xenar?

  3. #53
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

    Thank you, Bernice! It seems in theory the Xenar and the Ektar, both being single-coated f/4.5 Tessars, should behave the same. But theory and practice are two different things, as some retired baseball player once noted. And while I don't have a 300mm f/4.5 Xenar to compare it to, I agree that the Ektar is pretty special!
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  4. #54

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    Re: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

    On paper and in theory, the f4.5 Ektar and f4.5 Xenar should be much the same, in real world image making they are different.. Yes the differences are subtle yet visible for those that know what to look for. Once those differences are learned, IMO, they become a matter of preference.

    That said, they are likely going to bury me with that 12" f4.5 Ektar. It's been with me for decades, made lots of images with it and never fails to deliver. That said, don't think this is a 12" f4.5 for all, for those who appreciate it.. might fit this Ektar really kinda special.


    Bernice

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    Thank you, Bernice! It seems in theory the Xenar and the Ektar, both being single-coated f/4.5 Tessars, should behave the same. But theory and practice are two different things, as some retired baseball player once noted. And while I don't have a 300mm f/4.5 Xenar to compare it to, I agree that the Ektar is pretty special!

  5. #55
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

    Bernice, are you comparing two coated lenses (12" Ektar & 300mm Xenar), or is the Xenar uncoated?

  6. #56

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    Re: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

    Both 12" f4.5 lenses are single coated. Tried uncoated tessar lenses in the past. contrast is too low and flare prone.
    That said, proper lens shade can make more difference than most realize. Of the lens shades tried, the Sinar moving curtain shade works really good when properly set up.
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    Suspect the color rendition of the Kodak Ektar lenses is due to Lanthium glass they used, single coating and artful tweaking of the lens designs.

    Note on coatings, it does affect color rendition regardless of what has been said about it. Even after doing gray card test, zeroing in the color with cc filters, same lighting, same color transparency film. Color rendition varies. This is another subtle difference, for the vast majority of color images, not significant. It depends on individual preferences and all related to that. While multi-coating absolutely aids contrast, some times the higher contrast is not desirable. One example of uber contrast lenses for LF was the multi-coated 355mm f8 Gold Dot Dagor, some will adore what this lens does, others not so much.


    Bernice



    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    Bernice, are you comparing two coated lenses (12" Ektar & 300mm Xenar), or is the Xenar uncoated?

  7. #57
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

    Just a note that on the early ('40s-'50s) single-coated lenses, the coatings were somewhat soft. It's best to clean them only when needed, and special care should be taken when cleaning them.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  8. #58
    William Whitaker's Avatar
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    Re: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Suspect the color rendition of the Kodak Ektar lenses is due to Lanthium glass they used, single coating and artful tweaking of the lens designs.

    Note on coatings, it does affect color rendition regardless of what has been said about it. Even after doing gray card test, zeroing in the color with cc filters, same lighting, same color transparency film. Color rendition varies. This is another subtle difference, for the vast majority of color images, not significant. It depends on individual preferences and all related to that. While multi-coating absolutely aids contrast, some times the higher contrast is not desirable. One example of uber contrast lenses for LF was the multi-coated 355mm f8 Gold Dot Dagor, some will adore what this lens does, others not so much.
    This is very interesting. Thanks!
    I briefly owned a 355mm f/8 Dagor and it was painful to look at. Not so much color, but its overall image rendition was the visual equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard. But that's another subject, I'm afraid.

    I appreciate color fidelity, but I'm a poor judge, I believe. Since childhood I've noticed that the "color temperature" of my eyes is different. The left eye is distinctly warmer than the right. Cataract surgery has only exacerbated that issue, so I wouldn't trust anything I have to say about color!

  9. #59

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    Re: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

    Got one of these 355mm f8 Gold Dot Dagors as a dealer loaner back when they were new_ish. Did some test images, the results were in some ways remarkable as to how contrasty the colors were (amplified by color transparency film) in the film image. Yet, the actual resolution is no better than other similar lenses at the same taking aperture. No thank you, went back to the dealer and thanks for the experience.. once was more than enough.

    Keep in mind this was the era of hard hitting over color saturated, poke your eyes out commercial ad images.. This lens did not sell well, KEH in the later 90's had a bunch of them and kept reducing the price by the month in an effort to move them.
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    Today, this multi-coated Dagor appears to have become a cult fave with ? as the market value of these have gone way up, like a long list of other collector cult favorites.


    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by William Whitaker View Post
    This is very interesting. Thanks!
    I briefly owned a 355mm f/8 Dagor and it was painful to look at. Not so much color, but its overall image rendition was the visual equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard. But that's another subject, I'm afraid.

  10. #60

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    Re: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

    Also bought a 14" Gold Dot Dagor in Compur from B&H new some 30 plus years ago. Still have it, thought I tend to use the 12" Golden Dagor more. L

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